Reports on snake spike to 615 between January, March

Hakim Hayat

Statistics released by the Brunei Fire and Rescue Department (BFRD) show that emergency calls on wildlife disturbances, mostly snakes, have spiked between January and March this year, with 615 calls relating to the reptile.

The department attributed it to the hot weather during the day and wet conditions at night, which triggered forest and bush fires in several areas, causing wild animals such as snakes and monitor lizards to abandon their destroyed habitats to seek new ones.

Most of the calls are related to pythons and leaf snakes, according to the department, adding that these snakes tend to seek shelter or hide inside houses, in gardens, in the car engines, inside shoes and in toilets.

Of all the snake-related incidents, the department said, they were unable to offer assistance to 225 of them due to the callers not specifying the location of the snakes.

In light of the spike in these cases, the department urged the public to take precautions such as maintaining the cleanliness of their compounds and regular trimming of the grass. Members of the public are also urged to be more aware of the emergence of wild animals and ensure safety measures at home.

The department shared some tips regarding wildlife encounters: ensure the wildlife, such as a snake, is inside the house before contacting the BFRD; monitor the location of the intruder if it is inside the house; avoid provoking or attempting to catch or kill it; maintain a safe distance; shut the doors of the room where the intruder is hiding to prevent it from escaping; and provide precise location and complete information to the department.

Firefighters with a snake caught at a home. PHOTO: BRUNEI FIRE AND RESCUE DEPARTMENT